Don’t be chicken about this bird

Alabama Living Magazine

Fried, baked or barbecued, in salad, soup or sandwiches, chicken can be one of the best low-calorie and low-fat sources of protein in our diet, and one that can provide important nutrients from pregnancy through our later years. Our readers sent us a variety of recipes using chicken in several different forms. Whichever is your favorite, it’s good to know that chicken offers both variety and nutritional value for your meal planning. Check out these benefits:•  Chicken has tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for raising serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is the “feel-good” neurochemical linked with mood.

  • Dark and white meat chicken contains vitamin B12 and choline, which together may promote brain development in children, help the nervous system function properly and aid cognitive performance in older adults.
  • For those who struggle with chewing or swallowing foods, or with changes in taste, chicken is a versatile source of high-quality protein. Thirty grams of protein per meal also can benefit muscle growth and bone health.
  • Chicken provides under-consumed vitamins and minerals, and can be center of the plate for a heart-healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, such as the DASH diet.
  • Lean chicken meat is an excellent source of protein that the body can use easily. Foods high in protein may be a tool for managing weight and a normal blood sugar.

Source: Chicken Check In, a service of the National Chicken Council (NCC), based in Washington, DC. The NCC is the national, non-profit trade association representing U.S. chicken producers to provide information and help answer questions about how chicken is raised and processed in the U.S. NCC member companies include chicken producer/processors, poultry distributors, and allied supplier firms. The producer/processors account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken meat produced in the United States.

The Buttered Home

For all the ways you can have chicken, sometimes it can be hard to get creative. At the Buttered Home, we took a traditional chicken casserole and jazzed it up a bit. Our Mushroom and Swiss Chicken Casserole is a delicious spin on a classic. Taking sautéed mushrooms and pairing them with Swiss cheese breathes new life into this staple casserole recipe.

Mushroom and Swiss Chicken Casserole

Photo by The Buttered Home
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and sautéed in 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 14 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup swiss cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix sour cream, cream of chicken soup, water, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add in shredded chicken and sautéed mushrooms. Mix well. Fold in cheese.  Pour in a slightly greased 9×13-inch casserole dish. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the top is browned and bubbly.

Cook of the Month: Robin O’Sullivan, Wiregrass EC

Pizza with a chicken crust? Yes, it’s possible and Robin O’Sullivan’s recipe proves it can even be delicious, topped with chopped veggies, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Robin, who is a vegetarian, makes the pizza for meat-loving friends like her boyfriend, John Tate, who says she’s very good at cooking meat even though she doesn’t eat it herself.  If you still want to go meatless with this recipe, “you could use a meat substitute instead of the chicken,” she says. The crust doesn’t puff up like a traditional dough crust, but makes a perfect low-carb base for the toppings, she adds. Robin is a frequent contributor to our food pages, and this marks the third time she’s won Cook of the Month since 2017. She teaches history at Troy University’s campuses in Dothan and Troy. 

Winter Vegetable Pizza with Chicken Crust

Photo by Brooke Echols
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, breast or thighs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale), lightly sautéed beforehand

Cook the chicken via your favorite method (sauté it or cook in a CrockPot), then shred it and place in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray your pizza pan with oil (or line with parchment paper). Add parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt to the chicken. Add the eggs and mix well. Spread the chicken mixture on your pizza dish; the crust should be about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 15 minutes, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Spread sauce, vegetable toppings, and mozzarella cheese on the chicken crust. Bake 10 more minutes.

 Cook’s note: Alfredo sauce or pesto sauce can be used instead of marinara sauce. Swap out cheeses or vegetables. Personalize however you like.

Grandma Tempie Island Chicken

  • ½ lemon
  • ½ lime
  • ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons bell pepper, finely chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 6 chicken tenderloins

In a large bowl combine the first 7 ingredients for a marinade. Squeeze the lemon, lime, and orange into a bowl and stir. Remove 1/3 marinade for basting, cover, and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add chicken and marinade to the bowl and coat the chicken. Bake the chicken on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet covered with butter or margarine for 40 minutes. Turn once and baste after 20 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable salad.

Joyce A. Harris-Stokes Tallapoosa River EC

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 frozen deep-dish pie shells
  • 1 large can chicken or smoked chicken
  • 1 can English peas
  • 1 can sliced carrots
  • ½ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can cream of potato soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken, mushroom or celery soup (celery soup recommended)

Slice or dice chicken into small bites. Mix all ingredients together and pour into one pie shell. Top with the other pie shell. Cut holes in the top to vent, 1-2-inches long. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven until shell is golden brown.

Beth McLarty, Cullman EC

Chicken Paprikash

  • 1 pound chicken pieces, cut up, rinsed and patted dry (or alternatively bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
  • 1 medium-large onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweet paprika (recom mended: Szeged Hungarian paprika)
  • 1-2 cups water or chicken stock (stock recommended)
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Wide egg noodles, cooked or 
  • Galushka dumplings (recipe below)

In 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, sauté the pepper and onion until the onion is transparent. Take the pot off the heat and add the paprika and chicken, then gently mix to coat the chicken. Add just enough water or stock to partially cover but not submerge the chicken; add a pinch of salt and return to the heat. Cover the pot and cook at a low simmer for an hour. Take the pot off the heat. In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream and flour until smooth. Temper this mixture by adding a little of the cooked chicken broth to the sour cream (this will prevent the sour cream from curdling) before adding the mixture to the pot. Mix the sour cream mixture into the pot sauce. Return the pot to the heat and very gently reheat the stew (absolutely do not let it boil, otherwise the sauce will curdle). Serve over wide egg noodles or the more traditional Galushka dumplings.

Galushka Dumplings:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 pinches salt
  • Spaetzle maker (optional)

Lightly beat the eggs with water. Mix the flour and salt together, then gradually add the egg mixture to it to form a smooth, almost runny batter (adjustwith more water or flour). Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Using a spaetzle maker push the batter into the boiling water. The dumplings are ready when they float up after about 3 minutes. Alternatively, dip a teaspoon in the boiling water, take a scoop of batter and put in the water. The batter should just slide off the spoon. Repeat for the remaining batter. You can serve the dumplings separately or put them into the paprikash.

Louis Toth, Arab EC

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, skin on if possible
  • 12 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 16-ounce package shredded 
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 28-ounce can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium onion, sliced 
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Bake chicken in a 350-degree oven until juices run clear. Let cool, remove skin, and shred. While chicken is baking, add butter to a saucepan and melt over low heat. Add onions and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned/caramelized. To shredded chicken, add cumin, chili powder and onions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. LIghtly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Fill each tortilla with equal amounts of chicken mixture and shredded cheese, reserving some cheese for topping. Roll up each tortilla and place in baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce. Bake 30 minutes. Top with reserved cheese and bake 5 minutes more.  

Kathy Skinner, Tallapoosa River EC

Cook of the Month!

Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.

Themes and Deadlines:

May: Beef | February 4

June: Summer Salads | March 4

July: Cobblers | April 1

3 ways to submit:



Mail:  Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124


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